The Chicago Bears’ starting pair of offensive tackles — Braxton Jones and Larry Borom — began their NFL careers as day-three draft picks. And while there are plenty of offensive line success stories from the later rounds of the NFL Draft, the Bears need to invest premium assets into the o-line if they want to salvage quarterback Justin Fields’ potential.
That’s where the 2023 NFL Draft comes in.
The Bears (2-4) are trending in the wrong direction in the standings. As a result, they’re climbing the 2023 draft order. Their loss to the Washington Commanders in Week 6 moved them into the 10th overall pick of the 2023 NFL Draft. And in The Draft Network’s latest 2023 mock draft, Chicago uses that top-10 pick on Georgia offensive tackle Broderick Jones.
“The Bears need a little bit of nasty up front,” TDN’s Kyle Crabbs wrote. “Well, actually, they need a lot of nasty up front. Broderick Jones brings plenty to the left tackle position as the Bears look to form a new identity. With a former offensive lineman in Ryan Poles as the GM and the team’s early affinity to running the ball, one has to assume Jones’ traits will be appealing to a Chicago team that desperately needs improved play in the trenches.”
Jones (6’4, 315) was a five-star recruit out of high school and is his first full season as a regular starter. He appeared in every game during the 2021 season but started only four at left tackle. He’s started all six games at left tackle during the 2022 season and is viewed as a player whose upside is as high as any tackle eligible for the 2023 NFL Draft. He’s young, however, and still needs some development in his game. He could choose to return to Georgia for the 2023 season.